The craft of a solo performance

British actor John Rainer is preparing for his poetry recital honoring the British Poets Laureates, opening at the Ashland Library on Saturday April 6th. Rainer’s recent solo performance “Prufrock’s World” featuring poems by T.S. Eliot played to sold-out audiences. Those of us who were lucky enough to see it were astounded by the brilliance of the poetry and the talent of the man. I chatted with Rainer at the Pony Espresso Café.

EH: What was your theatrical training?

JR: At the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts: speech, scene study, you name it, the usual background. Really, my whole training was in British Regional Theatre. I toured England with various companies, and then did West End shows, the traditional route, which isn’t really traditional anymore. There really isn’t the training ground for young actors, where you really do get a chance to experiment with finding your own techniques. The repertory system, which was such a glorious training ground, isn’t really there anymore. Continue reading The craft of a solo performance

Acting is mining oneself

eileen & Cil

Eileen DeSandre and Cil Stengel are playing in “Fragments,” by Jessica Sage, opening March 8 at the Rogue Theater in the Bellview Grange. DeSandre and Stengel are veterans of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, where DeSandre performed for 16 years. Stengel is a founding member of the improvisational group The Hamazons. We met at the Rogue Valley Roasting Co.

EH: How do actors train for theater?

ED: There are different kinds of training and different approaches.

EH: How do actors come together to create a play?

ED: You have to get your ego out of the way and be in service to the muse, the playwright, the story, your fellow actors, the ensemble, your character.

Continue reading Acting is mining oneself